How to Take Notes During a Zoom Meeting Like a Pro

How to Take Notes During a Zoom Meeting Like a Pro

Last updated: 

February 28, 2023

Mike Adams

Mike Adams

In today’s remote-first working environment, every important discussion happens over Zoom. It’s imperative to have a note-taking system in place—to capture knowledge, ideas, and action items discussed during Zoom calls. In fact, Zoom meeting notes have quickly become a place where we can preserve the insights from our meetings. 

But there’s a problem.👇

Can you take notes in Zoom?

No, you wouldn’t be able to take notes using the Zoom desktop app itself. Zoom doesn’t have a note-taking feature available yet. This means you need to either use a zoom note taking app or rely on your existing documentation tools like Notion. 

The good news is, it’s quite easier to take notes while on a Zoom call if you have the right note taking app at hand. No need to switch between two monitors or rely on your memory dumps to remember the important information. 

In this post, we’ll help you set up and leverage Grain to take notes while on Zoom. We’ll also see how a note taking pro efficiently captures information from Zoom calls with a simple system that you can replicate for your team.

Setting up a Zoom note taker

For the uninitiated, Grain is a tool that helps you automatically record, transcribe, highlight and share important moments of your video meetings in a highlight reel.

It is much more than a Zoom note taker. You can create highlight clips, stories, and build a video library for your team. But for now, we’ll focus on how to use Grain as a Zoom note taking app.

You can get started with Grain with three easy steps.

Step 1: Create your Grain account for free and download the desktop app.

Ideally, you’d like to have a notepad to take notes during your Zoom calls and Grain desktop app comes in handy.

Step 2: Once you’re signed up, decide which meetings you’d like to record automatically. Go to the ‘Record Call’ page and turn on the toggle for the meetings you want to record. 

Step 3: When your next meeting starts, Grain Notepad will automatically appear, ready for you to quickly mark down the important moments as they happen, either by typing a note or using an emoji. Every note you take during the meeting becomes shareable—as a video clip. 

Once the meeting’s over, Grain automatically uploads your recording with your notes to the workspace. So, your meeting notes are always a search away!

Here’s how the recording and your meeting notes looks like.👇

Grain meeting with highlights

Why use Grain for taking notes

Rather than answering the question ourselves, let’s hear from Guillaume “G” Cabane. 

G is the former VP of Growth for Segment and Drift and now advises some of the world’s fastest-growing companies including G2, Abstract, and Gorgias. As someone who's hopping from one meeting to another, we connected with G to learn why and how he built a note-taking system for Zoom.

With non-stop Zoom meetings, G doesn’t have time between meetings to organize all of the action items, interesting client remarks, and moments of concern.

"Listening to every Zoom recording myself is valuable, but painful"

Initially, one of the solutions G explored involved his executive assistant reading Zoom call transcripts, taking notes of action items and such, and then creating a report. Yet that proved less than ideal.

“That was problematic because my EA’s time is consumed at the same rate as my time, which isn’t great for her—or for my finances,” says G. “And my EA doesn’t necessarily know the subtleties of what’s going on in my brain such as ‘this moment in the meeting is good to highlight for myself and this other part should be shared with the client.’” 

And then, G tried listening to all of the calls himself. “Listening to every Zoom recording myself is valuable, but it’s a painful process,” says G.

“I'm going to listen to the call carefully. I'm going to pause the recording. Take notes. I'm going to pause. Take notes. It takes me like two to three times the length of the call to extract all the value and summarize. It’s a painful process. It's slow.”

In his search for a tool that allows him to “pinpoint key moments of interaction” during calls, G found Grain.

How to Take Notes While on Zoom

One of Grain’s early adopters, G developed his own system for quickly taking note of a key moment of interaction in a call—while still remaining engaged with the client. G uses a system of emojis* for noting different types of key moments.

*We replaced emojis with quick tags to make it easier to #tag your notes (we’ll get to it in a minute).

We asked, and G graciously shared his list of preferred emojis and what they mean:

  • ⭐️: Important moment or statement
  • 🔥: Good reaction from the client or G
  • 😔: Something G is concerned about. (G probably won’t share this with the client.)
  • ✅: Something the client has committed to doing
  • 🚧: Something G has committed to
  • 💡: New idea
  • 🛠: New tool G would like to share with others
  • 🧠: Summary of the call for his team

By quickly clicking an emoji, or briefly writing a time-stamped note, G can remain focused on his clients during calls—while his team has a system for easily reviewing all of the key moments after a meeting.

“The thing I love most about Grain is the ability to quickly take notes during a call. There’s no other platform that I know of that enables me to—in just a second while talking, right now—take a note and create value in a call with someone.”

Sidenote: We replaced emojis with quick tags to make it easier to capture and #tag key moments in real-time. Tagging helps you search and discover highlights you’ve created instantly—whenever necessary. To add your custom tags, go to Settings > Account Settings > Quick Tags. Once you add your tags, you can start using them to clip and tag important moments from your meetings. 

Just like G, you can build your note-taking system with a set of quick tags or directly jot down your thoughts. For instance, when you hear an interesting feedback from your user, just click “#feedback” and voila, you’ll have a shareable video clip accompanied with your note—ready to go. 

Automatic Note taker for Zoom

If you don’t prefer to jot down ideas or bookmark important moments and decisions during your Zoom meetings, then you can focus on the conversation and get back to the transcript after the call. Grain records and transcribes the conversation from your meeting with its subtleties and nuances, helping you to recreate the experience. You don’t need a zoom transcription service if you’re recording your call using Grain.

Just log into your Grain workspace, open the recording and rewatch the meeting. Want to share the key decision with your team? Just clip and share the moment as video clips.

Source: Grain meeting page

G rarely shares an entire call recording with a client. Instead, he uses Grain’s recording editing capabilities to create a short video highlight for his client.

Use Search to find the specific moment you’re looking for in the recording, rather than rewatching hour-long videos. 

Do you want to share a summary of the call aka Zoom meeting minutes? You can. Stitch together the highlights into a video narrative using Grain Stories and then share it with anyone you desire. The list goes on. Meeting notes can ensure you're getting the most value out of Zoom calls and with Grain, it's never been easier to capture your ideas and action items.

What’s next? Learn how to take better meeting notes.

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